WORK has started on a project to transform a disused bowling green into a £150,000 play area.

The site next to Florence Park Children’s Centre in Rymers Lane, Cowley, is one of the last in an Oxford City Council £3.1m play area programme.

The old play area in Florence Park suffered drainage problems and council bosses say the new facilities are on dryer land.

Project manager Jamie Murray invited pupils from Cowley’s St Gregory the Great Catholic School to see where the new play area is being built.

Board member for parks and sports Mark Lygo said: “The existing play area was coming to the end of its life and, because of its location, we felt that it would be the ideal time to provide new facilities on dryer ground.

“By putting the new play area next to the children’s centre, it means it will be more accessible for families.

“I hope lots of children enjoy using it once the work is completed.”

It will include a sandpit, swings, wobbling bridge, rope-net roundabout, seesaw, climbing frame and slide, as well as more seating for parents and families.

Work started on January 9 and is expected to finish by the end of March.

Cowley ward councillor Shah Khan said: “I think it’s great that we are making use of the disused bowling green.

“I know people in the local community will really appreciate this facility once the work is completed.

“The pupils from St Gregory the Great School were interested to hear about the plans and I think the equipment would be suitable for children aged up to about 14.

“I’m glad that we were able to do it because government funding for this kind of thing is now very limited.”

Other investments include a Narnia-themed £115,000 play park at Bury Knowle Park, in London Road, Headington.

Normandy Crescent in Cowley and Foxwell Drive in Headington have also got cash.

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